Historical London Walk East End Markets

from Hackney to Spitalfields

2- 2½ hours

Starting in Hackney and finishing at Spitalfields market, this walk takes us through the parks and markets of the East End of London.

An area that has witnessed the transformation from rural backwater, where wealthy merchants escaped to the country, to an industrial boomtown. This part of the East End included some of the most notorious slums of the 19th century and today sees rising property prices, to the extent that this is now one of the most expensive places to live in the country. Throughout the centuries this area has been home to immigrants from around the globe and remains a dynamic and ever changing part of London.

East End Markets London Walking Tour
Fournier Street on a cold winters day

On this walk we will tell the story of a part of London which would at one time have witnessed farmers driving their livestock to market and local people working in market gardens and fields.

With the coming of the canals and railways and the continued growth of London all this changed. Our walk takes us along a section of the Regent’s Canal and into the markets that developed as the population grew and flourished.

There will be time to stop at both Columbia Market and the markets of Brick Lane as we make our way towards Spitalfields. We will tell the story of the slums and the attempts to improve conditions for working people, paying a visit to Arnold Circus, arguably the first council estate in the country.

As we near our journeys end we will look at the impact of the Huguenots on the area around Brick Lane and the subsequent changes that have taken place.

A comfortable walk with plenty to see and the occasional opportunity for a bit of retail therapy.

Please note: this walk only takes place on a Sunday.

East End Markets London Walking Tour
Flowers for sale
East End Markets London Walking Tour
A busy market scene, Colombia Road

Did you know?

  • Jellied eels originated from this part of London – we pass an original pie and mash shop on our route.
  • Our interest in cut flowers starts from the arrival of the Huguenots to this area in the 1680’s
  • The slums in this part of London were so bad that the death rate here was four times higher than in the rest of London.
  • In 1914 it is said that 90% of the population of Arnold Circus spoke Yiddish.
  • Queen Victoria’s wedding dress was made at 14, Fournier Street, just off Brick Lane.
  • Our walk finishes near The Ten Bells pub, once a haunt of Jack the Ripper!

Tour Gallery A few snaps from our recent East End Markets tours.

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